Inquiries: Poems by Michelle Porter

Michelle Porter is a Red River Métis poet, journalist, and editor. She holds degrees in journalism, folklore, and geography (Ph.D.). She currently lives in St. John’s Newfoundland. Inquiries is the debut collection of her poems.

I’m assuming that the book’s title is tied to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The poems within Inquiries are all tied together taking a hard look at the hardscrabble life of a Métis woman and her children eking out an existence near the Red River (and sometimes in NL), moving when the rent cannot be paid, leaving memories and items behind (a dollhouse that wouldn’t fit in the station wagon, gym sneakers left in a school locker).… Continue reading

Learning to Settle Down by Chad Norman

Chad Norman lives and works in Truro, Nova Scotia and Learning to Settle Down (2015, Black Moss Press) is his sixteenth published book of poetry. This was my first experience reading Mr. Norman’s poems and the impression I received after reading through them is his attention to the small things that surround us, so the title is most apropos.

From “Frost on a Fingernail” to “String on a Finger” to “Keeping Perfection Attainable” these are the poems of a man taking in the little day to day things and noting them in the way poets do.… Continue reading

New Brunswick by Shane Neilson

First impressions upon reading New Brunswick:

  • I felt like I went a few rounds with Yvon Durelle, the Fighting Fisherman, so hard-hitting is the emotional impact of this collection.
  • I was amazed at how much of New Brunswick’s history, current affairs and sense of place Mr. Neilson incorporates into his poems.

I tried to read New Brunswick in one sitting, but the power of his words forced me to put down this slim volume and pause.… Continue reading

Cold Fire: Selected Poetry by Donna Allard

For too long, the poetry genre has been overlooked here at The Miramichi Reader. It’s not because I don’t like poetry, I do, but to actually review it? I didn’t know if I had the ability to say if the poetry I was reading was good or bad. Is there even such a thing as bad poetry? Like any art form, beauty is in the eye of the beholder (or the reader).… Continue reading

The Malahat Review Issue #200

Malahat Review is among Canada’s leading literary journals. Published quarterly, it features contemporary Canadian and international works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction as well as reviews of recently published Canadian poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction. Issue #200 also marks the fiftieth issue of this exceptional West Coast-based literary journal. Some excerpts from this issue are available online here: http://www.malahatreview.ca/issues/200.html

Of special note:

Emily Carr’s unpublished memoir “Afterglow” in which she relates the “supreme death-beauty” of three individuals she had known, one being her sister Lizzie:

“Lizzie was beyond, beyond, beyond.… Continue reading

Collected Poems of Alden Nowlan Edited by Brian Bartlett

The following is from a Goose Lane news release and is provided for informational purposes.

A major publication celebrating the work of one of Canada’s most renowned poets.
Alden Nowlan (1933-1983) once wrote of a desire to leave behind “one poem, one story / that will tell what it was like / to be alive.” In an abundance of memorable poems, he fulfilled this desire with candour and subtlety, emotion and humour, sympathy and truth-telling.… Continue reading

Flightpaths by Heidi Greco

2, 2017, marked the eightieth year of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance while flying over the Pacific Ocean.  Ms Earhart was not alone; along with her was navigator Fred Noonan.  I was eager to read Flightpaths (2017, Caitlin Press) a structured prose-with-poetry composition by Ms Greco subtitled The Lost Journals of Amelia Earhart. It seemed like a challenging endeavour to take bits and pieces of the famed flyer’s life and, along with some fictional touches, flesh out a theory or two on what really happened that fateful day.… Continue reading

The Fiddlehead Issue No.270 (Winter 2017)

Issue No. 270 of the Fiddlehead literary journal sports an attractive cover with art by Ann Manuel entitled “Blur 1” making you feel that what is contained within is something special. There are works of short fiction by Jasmina Odor, Charlie Fiset, David Clerson (an excerpt from his otherworldly novel Brothers (translated by Katia Grubisic), Darryl Whetter and David Carpenter. There are poems from no less than twelve different poets as well as book reviews.… Continue reading